I have never done a reading challenge before, and this one caught my eye. It’s a challenge based on MCU, that was started by @jamishelves. The rules of the Marvel-a-thon are laid out here and you can follow the hashtag #Marvelathon on Twitter.
I picked backups for my TBR in case I need to DNF or am dealing with a disability flare that impacts what I’m up for reading. And of course a TBR is a plan, but plans may change. My reading is rarely more than loosely structured. I try to alternate authors of color and white authors, and prioritize ownvoices stories, ARCs, and library books that are about to return. But I also really follow what I’m needing comfort read-wise, and genrewise, which is partly about meeting emotional needs, managing triggering content, managing spoon levels, and choosing books that match where I’m at with brain fog and pain levels. I need a lot of flexibility, and so going into this I wanted options, including options for audio–marking those with an (A).
My TBR for Phase One:
Iron Man: Iron Man started the MCU timeline – Read the first book in a series.
- Dirty Girl by Chelsea M Cameron. Because who can resist an f/f romance series centered around two girls who fought over the same boy in HS and fall for each other in their 20s? Also did you see that stunning cover? (I read this one!)
- A Boy and His Dragon by R Cooper. Because R Coopers m/m romances are generally the kind of cozy I adore, and I love dragons. Several people recommended this one to me.
- The Dom Project by Solace Ames & Heloise Belleau. Because sometimes you need a reread. I want to read this again before including it in my m/f romance with queer characters list. (Tried this but wasn’t into it right now.)
- Sandry’s Book by Tamora Pierce. (A) Because when I am in pain or have brain fog, this series is one of my go-to comfort audio books to reread.
Hulk: Bruce Banner is famous for his green alter-ego. Read a book with a green cover
- Cub by Jeff Mann. I have been wanting to try this book about a young man who is into gay bears for a long time. It’s written by one of my fave gay bear erotica writers. (Tried this but wasn’t into it right now.)
- A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by A Bongiavani & T Jimerson. I definitely want to check out this comics guide to my pronouns.
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde (A) I wanted to try this old favorite on audio, see what it might be like to take the words and ideas in that way. I have print and e copies too if those medium appeal instead.
- The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (A) It’s been five years since I read it, and I wanted to try this YA again, on audio this time.
- ETA: I didn’t have a comfort reread for this challenge and wouldn’t you know I needed one? So I’m reading Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts. Its an old fave of mine, with a faerie prince and a ghost.(Tried this but wasn’t into it right now.)
- ETA: I picked another green cover-A Season for Wishes by Lydia San Andres, a holiday m/f novella set in a fictional Carribean island. (I read this one!)
Iron Man 2: Iron Man 2 is one of Marvel’s most unpopular movies. Read a book that’s unpopular
I read Begging for More by Sinclair Sexsmith this morning; it had one rating and no reviews on Goodreads. Now it has a review!
My backups (with less than ten reviews on Goodreads) were:
- An Offering of Plums by J Emery. Because who can resist a romance with a non-binary demon?
- Crank Me Up by JD Walker. Because I love single parent romances, and want to read as many queer ones as I can.
- Everyday Gay by Su Penn. Because I have a good feeling about this m/m romance with a trans man lead, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while.
Thor: The Thor movies are based on Norse Mythology. Read a book that involved myth or mythology.
- No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll. I adore Mardoll’s writing and trans retellings by trans authors are the best thing ever.
- Icarus Bleeds by Annabeth Leong. I’ve been wanting to try this book of Leong’s for a while, and this is the perfect excuse. I love her erotica.(I read this one!)
- The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan. I have heard such good things about this book, especially the genderfluid representation.
- Tithe by Holly Black (A) Sometimes you need a rather dark YA book about faeries that you know really well, on audio, especially when you are in pain.
Captain America: Captain America is set during WW2. Read a book set or written in World War Two
I am passing on this one. I generally avoid WW2 themed books.
The Avengers: The Avengers is the first time we see the MCU heroes together. Read a book with multiple perspectives.
- What Kind of Day by Mina V Esguerra. Because I have heard amazing things, and loved books by this author in the past. Plus ever since it arrived on my kindle last week I have been itching to read it. (I read this one!)
- Bare Knuckle by Katie Porter. Because this is on my list to check out of m/f romance with a queer MC, for a recs list I’m making. Plus boxing, and kink! (Tried this and DNF’d because of transmisogyny.)
- Abroad by Liz Jacobs. Because this has been recommended to me multiple times and I want to read all the Jewish queer romance out there. Also book 2 is out and I haven’t read this one yet!
- Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts (A) Because comfort rereads like this on audio are what help me sleep or get through a bad migraine day. (Finished this one but as I started in June I feel bad counting it, so I’m gonna read something else, too.)
My TBR for Phase Two:
Iron Man 3: Tony Stark has to make some hard decisions in this movie. Read a book that will challenge you
- The Right Thing to Do at the Time by Dov Zeller. I tried this, but the language was pretty difficult for me to parse when I had brain fog. I do really want to read this Jewish m/m romance with a trans man lead, so I thought I might challenge myself.
- The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver. I find dystopias (even hopeful ones) emotionally difficult to read, but I am super excited for the autism rep in this book and want to try it.
- Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. This authors poetry is a gut punch, and difficult for me to hold on a number of levels, and yet also often exactly what I need. Also who can read this review and not want to read this book?
- Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom. I have been wanting to read this since before it came out, but I worry about it triggering me, and have not been up for that. You never know, June might be the month.
(Basically this whole section is translit that I have been wanting to read but have not been up for yet. Hope I can read one of these.)
So I actually read A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by A Bongiavani & T Jimerson for this challenge. I was reading it to review, and found it rather difficult to parse. I usually put those kinds of books down, but I pushed through to finish reading. My review goes up soon.
Yes, I originally was going to read this for the green cover challenge!
Dark World: In The Dark World, Thor has to team up with Loki to win. Read a book that involves siblings.
- Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert. Because I’ve been wanting to read this YA with a Black Jewish girl who falls for her brothers girlfriend for a really long time.
- This Side of Home by Renée Watson. Because ever since I read Piecing It Together I’ve been wanting to read more by this author. This one is about gentrification, race, and twins who are very different.
- Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday. Because this is a contemporary m/m romance with an ace spec secondary character, and I’ve been reading all the ace spec rep in contemp that I can. The MC falls for a guy he originally wants to set his sister up with.
- Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. (A) Because sometimes you need to listen to a book you know really well when you are dealing with a disability flare. Sister and brother switch places (and change everything about their future).
So I actually reread Small Change by Roan Parrish for this challenge. (My third read.) I adore the angry guarded queer heroine Ginger so much. Each chapter begins with a letter from the hero to his brother, Jude (who is the MC for book 2), and so much in the story is impacted by his relationship and history with his brother, who has depression. This romance is so intense & gives me so many feels.
Winter Soldier: In The Winter Soldier a character returns as a villain. Read a book where the main character is a villain or anti-hero
- Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews. I have never read anything by this author and I hear from so many people I must give them a try, so…
- Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh. Beauty and the Beast retelling. Yup I need to give this one a try, especially as it has been recommended by a couple folks I trust. (I read this one!)
- Untamed by Anna Cowan. This is for my recs list of m/f romance with queer MCs, trying to find more histrom I like to add to it.
- Valiant by Holly Black. (A) This is my fave in the series and a great audiobook reread for a day when I am in a lot of pain.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Guardians of the Galaxy is well known for it’s soundtrack. Read a book set in, written in, or involving the 80’s
- Welcome to Crash by Lina Langley. Because I have been wanting to reread this in the hopes that it will help me write a review this time. I was on the roller coaster so much first read that I couldn’t be coherent about this complex book.
- The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R Delaney. Because I’ve been wanting to reread this memoir for a while; its been years.
- A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt. Because this book means the world to me, and I want to reread again at this point in my life.
- Dawn by Octavia Butler. Because a buddy might read this with me! Also I reread this series every 1-2 years and its about time.
- I am not feeling up for reading any of the books I picked for this challenge, so I am going to try Early Autumn by Robert Parker, a book I reread over and over in my teens and 20s, because it offered a model of adulthood and masculinity that didn’t seem completely toxic, and a story about a teen who was able to get free of his abusive family and build the emotional armor and autonomy he needed. (I read this one!)
Age of Ultron: The villain of Age Of Ultron is a robot created by Tony Stark. Read a book involving an AI in some way
- To Terminator with Love by Wes Kennedy. I’ve been wanting to read this m/m romance with an ace spec MC for a long time! (He built a robot that will maybe destroy the world.)
- The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz. An f/f romance with an ace spec MC! Also, tea shop! And I’ve loved other books by this author. (MC falls for a robot who runs a tea shop.)
- A Matter of Disagreement by EE Ottoman. This steampunk fantasy m/m with a trans man lead has been on my TBR for a long time. (MCs fight over mechanical animation; one invented it, the other feels like it’s ruined everything.)
- So You Want to be a Robot by A Merc Rustad. I am excited to read this SFF collection of short stories by a writer whose work I’ve loved. This book has several robot themed stories and includes trans, autistic & ace spectrum representation.
Ant-Man: In Ant-Man, Scott involuntarily gets caught up in a heist. Read a book involving a heist or thieves.
- Baker Thief by Claudie Arsenault. Because who can resist this title and cover and premise and a bigender baker who is also a thief? (I read this one!)
- Heart of the Steal by Roan Parrish & Avon Gale. Because these are two of my fave m/m writers teaming up on an art heist romance.
- Thieves at Heart by Tristan J Tarwater. Because I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it; it centers a half elf whose dad is a master thief and who trains her to be a thief!
- Do Over by Delaney Diamond. Because I have had so many folks recommend both this author and this book to me recently, and was just generously gifted a copy! (They meet cute when her home is burgled.)
My TBR for Phase Three:
Civil War: The Avengers split into two teams after disagreements. Read a book about a rivalry or enemies
Passing on this one!
- Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn. I loved book one and am excited to read book two in this m/f romance series about a group of friends who win the lottery.
- Autumn by Cole McCade. I love McCade’s writing, this has an older disabled MC and a grief arc, yes sign me up for this m/m romance.
- Your Heart Will Grow by Chace Verity. This m/f prisoner/guard mermaid romance has a pan heroine and a trans hero. Need I say more?
- A&B by JC Lillis. An f/f romance between two singer/songwriters on a music competition!
Doctor Strange: Stephen Strange was a doctor beforehe was a hero. Read a book that involves medicine in some way
- The Doctor’s Discretion by EE Ottoman. Because I’ve been really looking forward to this historical m/m with a trans man lead by a trans author! (Doctor MC.)
- The Remedy ed by Zena Sharman. Because this anthology on trans and queer experiences of healthcare is very close to home for me and supposed to be wonderful.
- A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan. Because I wanted to reread this m/f historical romance to see if I want to include it in my fall & winter holiday romances post this year. (Doctor MC.)
- A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (A) Because I adore this book and the audio is really good. Plus book 2 will be out soon and I want to reread first. (Epidemiologist MC deals with a health crisis.)
I ended up reading Over and Over Again by Cole McCade, which has an MC who figures out that he wants to be a vet. This book gave me so many feels.
GOTG: Volume 2: Volume Two shows even more epic space battles. Read a book set in or involving space
Passing on this one!
- How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis. I have heard wonderful things about this geeky m/m romance where the MCs are fans & vloggers that hit the road together following the traveling fan convention of their fave space opera TV show.
- Love Beyond Body, Space and Time ed by Hope Nicholson. I have heard such wonderful things about this collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. I hear that it includes an awesome story about lesbians puppies in space!
- Free Fall by Emma Barry & Genevieve Turner. I am lucky to have an arc of this m/f historical romance with an astronaut MC. I adore this series, its so cozy.
- Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi. I loved this f/f/f polyamorous space opera romance, and its time for a reread.
Spider-Man: Peter Parker has to hide his superhero identity at school. Read a YA book involving secrets in some way
Passing on this one!
- Not Your Villain by CB Lee. Because I loved book 1 in this series, I’m especially excited to read this superhero YA with a trans boy MC.
- Adaptation by Malinda Lo. Because I’ve been wanting to reread this series about aliens and polyamory and crushing on a girl for the first time and government conspiracy.
- Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. Because I’ve been wanting to reread this YA about a girl grappling with mental illness and being outed as the anonymous author of a popular webcomic.
- Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows. (A) I love this author’s work under all her pseudonyms, and have been waiting for the right time to try this book about a geek girl finding out her popular stepsisters secrets after she is dead.
Thor: Ragnarok: Thor: Ragnarok is one of Marvel’s most popular movies. Read a popular book
- The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde. Because I loved one of this authors other YA books and this one with a rockstar MC has bi and pan rep and a genderqueer love interest!
- Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian. Because I cannot miss this historical m/non-binary romance that so many people are raving about. (I read this early!)
- Squared Away by Annabeth Albert. (A) Because I want to read it again and think more about the demisexual and disability rep before I review. And sometimes an audiobook is the only way I can read.
- The Boss by Abigail Barnette. (A) Because I love the audio for this smoking hot hilarious queer m/f romance series.
I read It Takes Two by Jenny Holiday. This is very popular but it didn’t really work for me.
Infinity War: “the most ambitious crossover event in history”. Read a book that fulfils multiple challenges
- The Olive Conspiracy by Shira Glassman. (heist & woman MC) This series is my go-to comfort series, especially if I need something Jewish and queer.
- Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert. (Black MC & woman MC) I haven’t missed a new book by Talia Hibbert and I’m not going to start now.
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. (A) (woman MC, first in series, multi pov, popular) I’ve been wanting to try this on audio, and to reread before I read book two in the series.
- Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts. (A) (woman MC, multi pov, popular) This is my go-to comfort reread audiobook when everything is on fire or I’ve got a terrible migraine, and you never know what June may bring, so I want to be prepared. (I read this one!)
Black Panther: Black Panther features Marvel’s first black superhero. Read an ownvoices book with a black main character
- Get At Me by Krystal A Smith. Because I’ve been wanting to read this butch/femme f/f meet cute romance set at a community center for a long time. I hear its great. (I read this early!)
- Lemon Wedges by Briana Lawrence. Because I adored the first m/m romance I read by this author and want to try her backlist! Plus that cover.
- The Root by Na’amen Tilahun. Because I have been wanting to read this for ages and am hoping this will make it possible for me to tackle my signed print edition of this book that I hear is amazing.
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (A) Because its time for a reread, and the audiobook for this is wonderful.
I ended up reading The Coyote’s Cowboy by Holley Trent, which blew me away. I esp appreciated the ADHD and PTSD representation. I am now gonna go devour her backlist.
Captain Marvel: This movie will feature Marvel’s first female hero as the main character. Read a book with a female mc
- Nix by Candace Blevins. This is for my m/f romance with queer MCs list. I’m hoping to add more PNR to it and this one looks fun. (I tried this early and DNFd)
- All or Nothing by Rose Lerner. This is also for my m/f romance with queer MCs list. I’m wanting to add more histrom, and I hear this one is great. I loved the other Lerner book I read, so another Jewish m/f seems like a good bet. (I read this one!)
- The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This YA looks wonderful, and it has food trucks and crushes and is perfect for summer.
- Casting Lacey by Elle Spencer. (A) I hear fabulous things about this f/f fake relationship romance, and my library has it on audio!
The Avengers 4: Details of this movie including it’s title are still a secret. Read a book you don’t know anything about
Passing on this one!
These are all books I bought and don’t remember why. (Though likely the first one is a #cockgate purchase.) Likely the others were free or cheap or recommended by a friend but I only recognize two of the authors.
- The Cockiest Cowboy to Have Ever Cocked by Jamila Jasper
- Sweet to the Taste by Alyssa Cole
- Spotless by Camilla Monk
- Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz
I’m excited to give this challenge a try! What better readathon to start with than an MCU one!